Snakes! (doing it)

Brooke here.  What with the bat and the black widow, at this rate I’m terrified to think of what the next animal-related post might be about:

Not that I should complain, what with Louisiana and Mississippi being underwater, but we’ve had quite a lot of rain over the last few weeks.  It’s hindered most of the weekend projects, pushed back the pool swamp renovation, and made getting sand between the brick pavers an impossible process.  In the meantime I’ve been attacking the brick pile like Huns on a raid… the second the sky clears, the dogs and I run into the backyard howling, and I start swinging a hoe at the bricks until I see bare earth.   The goal is to separate all of the bricks that can be reused from those that are too badly damaged or moldy (did you know bricks could mold?  I sure didn’t.  Guess what’s fun to put your hand on/in/through?   Not moldy bricks!).  These are then left to rinse in the (grrrr) plentiful rain, then scrubbed with a pressure hose, then rain-rinsed again, and then stacked to have the mortar cleaned off.   I think I’ve done close to 800 bricks by now.  I have pictures.  They are boring.

Snakes, however, are not.  Remember the enormous Mongolian Death Snake which lives in our attic?  Well, we hadn’t seen hide nor … hide… of it until we found its hide.

snakeskin in fireplace
Our weirdo house has three fireplaces. One burns wood, one uses gas, and the other is fueled by coal and snakeskin as was common in Days of Yore.

We found the skin just yesterday.  Technically, the exterminator who was doing the bi-annual thing which makes it possible for humans to live in a house made of wood in the forest found the skin and screamed.  Brown and I then took turns walking her around the house so a snake wouldn’t scare her; turns out some exterminators are phobic about what they kill.

Then, today, my friend Allison and I saw the source of the snakeskin, as well as the source of many future snakeskins-to-be.

Black rat snakes doing it.
"Hey baby, want to try and find out what sex we are?"

Allison and I were getting in her car when I saw a long shadow that hadn’t been there before, and upon coming closer we discovered that, no, the power line had not fallen in a disturbingly tangled fashion.  Author’s note: if you absolutely have to trip over two five-foot-long snakes doing it, try to do so in the company of a woman who works at the poisonous snake exhibit at the North Carolina Zoo; Allison had them pegged as harmless black rat snakes before I was even sure they were snakes.*

Freakin' paparazzi. This IS a room. For snakes. To rephrase, there is nothing wrong with US.

We didn’t stay too long to watch.  We had a lunch to get to and snake sex is actually rather boring (although not to blog about).  I assumed it would be more thrashy and churny but, no, it’s more of a nap.  Godspeed, little baby rodent-eaters who will no doubt scare the crap out of me one day when I’m not watching where I step!

*And then two adult women with jobs and decent educations ran for their cameras and jumped around shouting “Snakes f***kin’!  Snakes f***kin’!  Snakes f***kin’!”

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